Horror fans are still reeling with the disappointing news that Netflix canceled Mike Flanagan’s The Midnight Club. There were so many plot threads left up in the air and, like Flanagan promised, the writer-director broke down what the entirety of Season 2 would have looked like.
In an extremely detailed Tumblr post, Flanagan went into the details of a season that would have pushed its dark and emotional themes even further. Simply put, a lot more of our favorite characters were going to die. The season was going to open up with Amesh’s glioblastoma advancing. The first couple episodes would focus on the love story between him and Natsuki before Amesh‘s death. Like Anya, Amesh would see the shadow of “Death”. To make things even more heartbreaking, Natsuki would die shortly after. However, on a nicer note, Spence would survive and no longer be terminal thanks to advancing HIV treatments.
For our main character Illonka she’s trying to reconcile with Julia Jayne tricking her into helping the Paragon cult. The biggest plot thread would see Illonka tell the story of Christopher Pike’s Remember Me. Flanagan stated that this was one of his favorite Pike books, which tells the story of a teenage girl who was pushed off a balcony, dies, and wakes up as a ghost. She has to try to solve her own murder while coming to terms with her new reality of being dead. This would be Illonka facing her own mortality, which was a major theme in Season 1. However, Illonka wouldn’t be the star of her own story, Anya would. In a twist, Anya, who tragically died in Season 1, would live on through this tale. Like Flanagan points out, telling stories is how the dead live on, and this would be a way for Illonka to grieve/honor the loss of her friend as she imagines Anya waking up as a ghost. This emotional arc would have spanned five episodes, similar to how Kevin’s “The Wicked Heart” took up multiple episodes last season. However, Anya’s new-found role isn’t a coincidence, as Illonka would take Anya’s previous place in spirit as she gives her new roommate, Cheri, the cold shoulder. Just like Anya did to her.
However, what everyone wants answers to is the major cliffhanger surrounding Dr. Stanton. Well, buckle up, because Stanton was the daughter of original Paragon cult leader Aceso. She wrote the journal that Illonka found in Season 1, as she was a part of the cult as a teenager. That’s why she had the tattoo. It was also her initials that Illonka found on the tree: Georgina Ballard (GB) was her maiden name. However, she turned on her mother and helped the kids escape. She regained the property after her mother died so that she could celebrate life. The reason she was wearing a wig would be because she had cancer. According to Flanagan, there were no malicious intentions for her character. She was simply undergoing chemo treatments, which would be successful, and Stanton would go into remission.
However, that’s not even the biggest reveal of the cancelled season, as “Death” or “The living Shadow” would not turn out to be evil at all, but an entity that helped people get to the other side by offering kind words before they died. This entity would turn out to be Robert Longstreet’s janitor character who was only ever seen by the patients in Season 1. Finally, Flanagan revealed that both Kevin and Illonka would die by the end of the season. However, that’s not all, as they were the reincarnations of the “Mirror Man” and “Cataract Woman”. They were actually Stanley Oscar Freelan (a reference to The Shining) and his wife who built Brightcliffe. Kevin was the wife, while Stanley was Illonka. In a rare sweet turn for the series, they were soulmates. There’s a lot more to it than that as Flanagan breaks down the pair of ghostly lovers’ entire backstory, but the season would end with Cheri telling the love story of Stanley and his wife to the new Midnight Club. Illonka, Kevin, Amesh, Anya, and Natsuki would live on through their stories.
What Flanagan describes in this Season 2 breakdown is why he’s arguably the greatest genre storyteller we have today. The first season of The Midnight Club was a somber tale about coming to terms with the concept of death. It wasn’t a fairy tale where everyone made it out alive, but rather a twisted harsh reality and a reminder that our time on this Earth is very precious. However, this heavy emotion soaked narrative was also a hopeful love letter to storytelling. Season 2 sounded like it was going to take all those amazing concepts and push them to the next haunting level. You can also tell that Flanagan is just as heartbroken as horror fans are.
While we mourn, you can read Flanagan’s full mind-blowing Season 2 breakdown on his Tumblr. The trailer for The Midnight Club can be viewed down below.